The growing scandals within the FBI and the Department of Justice took a dramatic turn on Thursday, as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray faced a barrage of pointed questions from Congress.
In the crosshairs were Rosenstein’s reputation and future prospects within the government. Months ago, the slick-haired bureaucrat assured lawmakers, including conservative firebrand Trey Gowdy, that there was nothing to worry about regarding political bias within the DOJ.
Rosenstein’s apparent attempts to railroad Congress’ inquiries brought the ire of Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican lawmaker who has had enough of the DOJ’s excuses.
Pointing out that the deputy attorney general has dragged his feet on providing key documents requested by Congress, Jordan tore into the bureaucrat with no mercy.
The message was clear: You may have expected Hillary Clinton to win and provide political cover for four years, but that time has passed, and there’s a new sheriff in town.
“The GOP-led House voted along party lines on a resolution demanding the Justice Department comply with document requests and subpoenas from the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees,” ABC News reported.
The mere fact that Congress needed an official resolution in order for the DOJ to actually comply with its investigation should speak volumes.
“Some conservatives have suggested the move could be the first of several actions taken against the Justice Department and Rosenstein — including, potentially, censure and impeachment,” continued ABC.
Rosenstein took a “woe-is-me” posture and acted as if he was being bullied, despite the fact that he’s the deputy attorney general and responsible for almost all of the DOJ’s actions.
“I am not keeping any information from Congress,” Rosenstein insisted, looking a bit small with many powerful eyes on him. “I certainly hope your colleagues aren’t under that impression, that is not accurate sir.”
Jordan and his colleagues are “under that impression” because months of evidence make Rosenstein look complacent, if not purposely deceptive.
“I think in a few minutes, the House of Representatives is going to go on record saying you haven’t complied with requests from a separate but equal branch of government, that you haven’t complied with subpoenas, and you have seven days to get your act together,” Jordan scolded the deputy director.
By now, almost everyone who follows politics has heard the term “deep state,” which refers to entrenched bureaucrats who hold un-elected positions at agencies like the FBI and the State Department.
Bizarrely, Rosenstein claimed to not be familiar with the term, an unlikely statement considering that Trump and many media outlets have repeatedly used it to describe bureaucrats like the deputy attorney general.
“I’ve never really understood the term ‘Deep State,’” Wray said, either ignorant of recent news or playing dumb for the cameras. “We have 37,000 men and women… and they are people of character, of courage, of principle, of selflessness, of patriotism, and that’s the FBI I see.”
Apparently his idea of “character” and “patriotism” involves repeatedly bashing half the country while declaring that the duly-elected president must be stopped, as text messages show numerous FBI employees doing.
As the exchange between Jordan and Rosenstein became increasingly heated, the deputy attorney general — whose job is to be responsible for his entire department — took the strange stance that he was responsible for almost nothing.
“Mr. Jordan, I am the deputy attorney general of the United States. OK?” Rosenstein defensively spat out. “I’m not the person doing the redacting (of documents.)”
“Your use of this to attack me personally is deeply wrong,” the embattled deputy complained to Jordan and the other congressmen.
In Rosenstein’s view, being asked direct questions is a “deeply wrong” personal attack, yet his department apparently had no problem with widespread personal attacks against the president of the United States — a fact that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte sharply reminded the bureaucrat.
“While those on the other side of the aisle continue to exclaim that these biases are only personal… I wonder whether these same members would say the same if text messages had turned up to the tune of, ‘Hillary is a disaster,’ or ‘We’ll stop her,'” Goodlatte pointed out, directly referencing anti-Trump text messages that came from FBI agents.
Rosenstein may be lamenting having his feet held to the fire, but Congress is expressing the exact same frustration that the American people have felt for months.
Citizens, much like Rep. Jordan, have had enough of being held in disdain by government bureaucrats. They’re fed up with having the president they elected be undermined by un-elected busy-bodies who are used to operating unquestioned… and it’s about time Rosenstein faced the music.
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